MEXICO CITY – Two waiters at a Mexico City bar will face homicide and robbery charges in the beating death of Malcolm X’s grandson, Malcolm Shabazz, authorities said Monday.
Prosecutors said police were seeking at least two other people believed to have participated in the attack on Shabazz, who was beaten early Thursday in a dispute over a $1,200 bar bill.
Prosecutor Rodolfo Fernando Rios said bar employees David Hernandez Cruz and Manuel Alejandro Perez de Jesus would be charged with aggravated robbery and homicide.
Rios said there was no indication of a racial motivation in the attack on Shabazz, 28, who was assaulted after he drank with a friend at the Palace bar on Garibaldi Plaza, a downtown square famous for open-air performances by strolling mariachi musicians.
Miguel Suarez, a friend of Shabazz, told the Associated Press last week that the fight broke out after the owner of the bar demanded that the two men pay 15,000 pesos for the time they spent drinking at the bar. He said he found Shabazz outside the bar and took him to a hospital where he died.
Many of the bars around Garibaldi Plaza are notorious for exorbitant overcharging of customers, particularly foreigners, often on the pretext that customers must pay for time spent talking with female employees.
Rios said the initial investigation indicated Shabazz and Suarez were lured to the bar by two women.
An autopsy found that Shabazz died of blows to the head, face and torso.
Rios said Shabazz’s body had not been claimed by relatives or the U.S. Embassy. He said Mexican authorities were dealing with transporting it back to the U.S.
Much like his grandfather, Shabazz spent his youth in and out of trouble. At 12, he set a fire in his grandmother’s apartment, a blaze that resulted in the death of Malcolm X’s widow. After four years in juvenile detention, Shabazz was later sent back to prison on attempted robbery and assault charges.
In recent years, Shabazz seemed to be seeking redemption, saying he was writing a memoir and traveling the world speaking out against youth violence. Before his trip to Mexico, he reached out to a group of Mexican construction workers in the U.S. and then visited in Mexico with a leader who had been deported.